Creating a GPU hierarchy can be a difficult task, but it isn’t impossible. With so much variety in the world of graphics cards, the best thing we can do is sort them into different tiers.
We also decided to sort the cards within tiers themselves, so these rankings are certainly open to discussion.
To avoid overcrowding, only cards in the most recent two generations from AMD and NVIDIA will be considered, as well as the brand new Ampere and RDNA cards.
Let’s get started with the list!
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Compared to the rest of the GPUs on the market, cards in this tier are considered more suitable for enthusiasts who want to play at 4K resolution, with at least 60 FPS, with the RTX 3090 offering 8K (only with DLSS in certain games).
There are also professional graphics cards out there, but these are generally not used for gaming as much as complex AI research or software development, such as the NVIDIA Titan RTX and the NVIDIA Titan V.
The balance of power in this tier shifted slightly with the release of AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics cards. NVIDIA has been the undisputed ruler for the last decade, but it now seems that AMD is back to challenge for the crown.
For the first time in years, NVIDIA’s enthusiast-class card faced some competition from AMD. In fact, even its flagship GPU faced competition, but the flagships are a notch below the competition for a top spot.
Even with AMD’s serious attempt at conquering the GPU throne, Nvidia still held it with the RTX 3090 and then took over with the RTX 3090 Ti.
Still, the RX 6900 XT has proven itself to be a great card and takes second place by a small margin ahead of the RTX 3080 Ti. Right behind it, we see the RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT.
However, with the new RX 6950 XT, AMD finally took that gaming crown. But only at 1080p resolution. Anything above that and NVIDIA takes over.
|1.||RX 6950 XT||AMD|
|2.||RTX 3090 Ti||NVIDIA|
|4.||RX 6900 XT||AMD|
|5.||RTX 3080 Ti||NVIDIA|
|7.||RX 6800 XT||AMD|
Cards in this tier offer pretty good performance at a much more affordable price, though they are understandably not as powerful as those in the tier above.
Although these cards can provide stable 60 FPS gaming at 4K resolution, this is unlikely to be the case with Ultra settings. At the top, we have the RX 6800, RTX 3070 Ti, RX 6750 XT, and then the RTX 3070.
Despite the latter GPU having a slightly more affordable price, the RX 6800 is still a better graphics card. Both outperform the previous generation’s top card, the RTX 2080 Ti, by a solid margin.
The once-coveted RTX 2080 Ti still outperforms NVIDIA’s latest budget card, the RTX 3060 Ti, but that was to be expected, given their respective positions on the market.
From this point, the performance gaps are more gradual but still noticeable. Here we have the RTX 2080 Super, a short distance ahead of the RTX 2070 Super and its base version. From NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture, we have the Titan Xp as the top representative, as well as the Titan X and GTX 1080 Ti.
This is where AMD’s last-generation cards are also able to compete, the RX 5700 XT and Radeon VII.
The reason why we have ranked the RX 5700 XT above the Radeon VII is because of its RDNA architecture, although the Radeon VII certainly presents a strong case with its 16 GB of HBM2 memory.
This is also where you will find the non-Ti RTX 3060 and AMD’s refreshed RDNA 2 GPU, the RX 6650 XT.
As those two AMD cards occupy places here, it would be unfair to leave out the RTX 2070.
|2.||RTX 3070 Ti||NVIDIA|
|3.||RX 6750 XT||AMD|
|5.||RTX 2080 Ti||NVIDIA|
|6.||RX 6700 XT||AMD|
|7.||RTX 3060 Ti||NVIDIA|
|8.||RTX 2080 Super||NVIDIA|
|12.||RTX 2070 Super||NVIDIA|
|13.||GTX 1080 Ti||NVIDIA|
|15||RX 6650 XT||AMD|
|16.||RX 5700 XT||AMD|
|17.||RX 6600 XT||AMD|
‘B’ does not stand for ‘bad’ or ‘budget’. In fact, these are perfectly serviceable cards that will provide you with a good performance for budget-friendly builds. One thing that should also be carefully considered is that this is the lowest tier where we will see cards that support real-time raytracing in the GPU hierarchy.
The king of this tier is the AMD RX 5700 because of its good price point and one of the best economical GPUs out there. Right next to it, we have the RX Vega 64 and the RX 5600 XT.
As you can see below, this tier consists mostly of AMD cards with some less powerful GPUs from NVIDIA, such as the RTX 2060, the GTX 1080, and the GTX 1070 Ti.
This is the final tier where you can comfortably enjoy 144 FPS gameplay without sacrificing graphical quality, as long as you have a suitable monitor to support it.
|1.||RTX 2060 Super||NVIDIA|
|3.||RX Vega 64||AMD|
|4.||RX 5600 XT||AMD|
|7.||RX Vega 56||AMD|
|8.||GTX 1070 Ti||NVIDIA|
In this tier, we’re at half the price of the RTX 2080 Ti, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t game with these cards.
They might not be able to pull off 1440p, but 1080p and 60 FPS at high settings might be plenty for you, depending on your preferences. Unfortunately, this won’t be possible on some of the most demanding games. Lowering the settings further may be necessary for 60 FPS gaming.
Here’s where NVIDIA again reigns supreme, with stellar GPUs, including the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super, followed closely by the GTX 1070 and GTX 1660. AMD didn’t go missing here, although their performance in this tier is below par with their representative RX 5500 XT, both the 4GB and 8GB version, falling short of NVIDIA.
Sandwiched between these two versions of the RX 5500 XT is NVIDIA’s GTX 1650 Super. Rounding out the C tier, we have the GTX 1060 6GB.
|1.||GTX 1660 Ti||NVIDIA|
|2.||GTX 1660 Super||NVIDIA|
|5.||RX 5500 XT 8GB||AND|
|6.||GTX 1650 Super||NVIDIA|
|7.||RX 5500 XT 4GB||AMD|
|8.||GTX 1060 6GB||NVIDIA|
Budget cards belonging to this tier are at the bottom of the list for a reason. That being said, you can still obtain a solid performance with these GPUs. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there can still be a hierarchy to help you make an informed, individual decision.
Unlike in the other tiers, here, the top pick does not have a good case to be in the tier above. The top of the D tier is the GTX 1650, closely trailed by the GTX 1060 3GB. Due to the previously imposed restrictions, the only other members of this tier are the GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050.
|2.||GTX 1060 3GB||NVIDIA|
|3.||GTX 1050 Ti||NVIDIA|
Final Words On The GPU Hierarchy
Although there are some other cards that could perform on the same level as the cards from our GPU hierarchy, they were excluded for a reason. As mentioned before, only the two most recent generations of AMD and NVIDIA GPUs were included. This means you won’t find cards older than the 5th generation GCN and Pascal.